During readings, callers often share that they feel they are being used in relationships, friendships, and even in work situations. Sometimes this is true, and sometimes it isn’t. When we hold on to expectations of others, and experience the disappointments that sometimes accompany them, it isn’t always easy to hold a clear, unbiased understanding of the dynamics at work. Relationships are always complex, nearly never linear, and highly multifaceted. To this end, there are multiple types of users, though most possess the following traits in an overlapping type of construction.
Types of Users
Financial: Will borrow money, ask for credit cards, and use a variety of manipulation tactics to gain money, gifts, etc. from the person in question. This person is never in the financial position to reciprocate, and often brags about purchases and acquisitions, yet complains constantly about being broke.
Ladder-Climbers: Most often seen in the corporate/business arena. Can be male or female, and will do his or her best to win co-worker and boss approval, tailoring personality traits, interests, and persona like a chameleon. These individuals are those we often see move up in our workplaces to elevated positions for which they lack education and experience to attain on their own. Mentors beware.
Friends: Guys or girls, these are always the people in your life with drama, in constant need of support, advice or an ear, and favors. These folks mysteriously disappear or suddenly become very busy (and MIA) when you need some support of your own.
Relationships: The partner takes little to no interest in your interests, what’s going on with you or your feelings, and also lacks consistent efforts attempting to please you, spend money or time on/with you, or do things that make you feel special. This person often makes plans with you and quickly tries to get physical… and then splits. Contact is usually very inconsistent and only on this other person’s terms and timetable.
Make a list of the person(s) in question with two columns—one for the good about this person and one for the bad. Itemize, use descriptions, and ask yourself how you really feel about each item on your list. If the “bad” side wins over by a long way, you have your answer rather quickly. Following, take a few days to look over your list when you feel relatively neutral, so you can objectively think about what you have down. If you still feel conflicted, give yourself some time. Should you find yourself adding to your positive side when in the neutral state of mind, or conflicted about how you really feel about the situation, perhaps its time to honestly reconsider your own role, biases, and/or insecurities in the situation…
The bottom line is that weeding people out of our lives (that we’ve either outgrown or who fail to contribute in a positive and supportive way) is never pleasant. However, putting our feelings and the facts onto paper in a simple fashion can always help provide the clarity we need to make tough decisions.
22 thoughts on “Are You Being Used?”
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The “porcupine” job climber in my life was covert and hurt me deeply. I treated her like a daughter and mentored her for 3 years until someone told me to watch my back because she had conspired with a professional political consultant (former boyfriend) to discredit me and take my job. Sounds bizarre, but it was real. I called the fellow and asked to meet him. He agreed and corroborated the whole thing. This total stranger knew everything about me, and it scared me. Little red flags along the way suddenly made sense. I’ve been reflecting on this for 2 months now. I’ve withdrawn from people at work and realized that she had a total lack of respect for me all along. I don’t want to work with her or help her any longer, but my bosses told me there is nothing wrong with a person’s wanting to get ahead, so I guess it’s survival of the fittest. She does not know I met her former boyfriend. I would love to hear your thoughts on this!
Fabulous article……..nice to read a variety of people’s opinions/perspectives….and yes….most of us are only human beings…Thank you for the article…Many Blessings
Oh Boy, did this article hit home-exactly what I have been working on. The Takers of the world can only take from the Givers of the world. You will very seldom find Takers seeking out other Takers, they seek of Givers. Takers know and recognize one another, and stay as far away from one another as possible. They seek and find the Givers-then proceed to do their job. It always takes the Giver a little time to get it, as we want and enjoy giving. For the past four years, I have been in the process of “Elimination”; that is eliminating the Takers from my life. It has not been an easy path, as it all had to do with changing myself. Let’s just say, to put it bluntly, “DON’T CASTE YOUR PEARLS AMONGST SWINE”. Sounds tacky right, but beleive me “Tacky is in order when it comes to Swine. Gina Rose, you had it right–a little hibernation is good for the soul. That is actually taking back our souls. Thanks for the Great Article, Giovanna. This is one Italian that needed to hear this—–again!!!!!
“Relationships are always complex.” Well said. I liked your article. You took a broad subject and explored some pertinent elements in the topic. I think relationships are as ‘complex’ as one desires to make them. But they take time and effort. TV advertised “matchmakers” today create the impression if you pay them that a supermarket mentality goes as well for finding a partner. Just as easy, the theme may be interpreted to imply that if that relationship requires too much time and patience, the shopper can discard that partner and window shop for another. I’m glad you said what you did about ‘complexities that certain types overlap.”
Thanks for this article on using friends, am currently in a very sticky possible using situation myself. Am living with friends I have known for many years, I recently got laid off from a very good paying job and can’t do much as far as paying any bills. Anyway my friends work full time jobs to my on-call job I barely have hours for. but it seems like everytime I turn around someone wants money for this or that. Thats ok, except it doesn’t go for what they said it would like bills or gas. It goes toward dinners or games or cable. Dont really understand why, if I can barelly get to my job they would ask for money to buy things they dont need and lie about it. Anyway try to sort this out, I am exsausted by the whole thing.
I totally agree with Jessica May be a good eye opener
We can also learn our strengths and weeknesses
its so true and a lot of times we spend to much time thinking about these types of people when we should axe them
Giovanna, this is a great article, and perfect for a universal “9” month! I agree with all your descriptions, and would just like to add, that while reviewing them, it could be good practice for any of us, to ask ourselves, do any of these apply to me?!
We’re all human, and it’s very possible to be both used and a user. : )
“These individuals are those we often see move up in our workplaces to elevated positions for which they lack education and experience to attain on their own.” Wow…so many have crossed my path. You give someone green a chance, and they act ungrateful and dismissive. Those types rarely take ownership or stock for their actions…greed begets greed. Lesson learned!
Yes, Gina Rose, you nailed it.
PS If you live in a village/fishing village/boat village
my dad is a fisherman. Has a dock and lives on a lake….A lot of people tried to use him to use his dock to fish all day….FYI
Another red flag-Now this is ONLY for platonic friends, etc. But beware of a new friend inviting themselves over to your home/residence….. A lot of times they want to scope it out, see what you have, etc. Sum you up etc….
Also, people with their own swimming pools-and if you have kids, too…..People will try to use you for your pool-or bring the kid over to swim/pretending they are interested in you, too, as a friend. Try to avoid that. Make suggestions, like, “Not in the mood for pool, how about taking the kids to the park and making a pic nic? You can find out better this way-before you open up your pool to a user…Same goes for having your own spa. Or even tennis court. And even your own barn with areas for horses. My friend got stuck letting a friend use her barn to keep her horse there, and did not help with $$.
Yes… what Maryanne stated is so true……
I honestly think that that is part of the reason I am a hermit/recluse……I became so tired of people
( ” friends “) , over time,trying to use me for free advice or just to vent at 3:00 am in the morning.
Thank goodness I’m a hermit by nature though….because I actually find it easy and comfortable to stay by myself.
Blessed Be )O(
Gina Rose ext.9500
Thank you for another excellent article with clear, specific explanations on the topic for both our clients and for us.
“Watch out Mentors” seemed to be a particularly important point to me. You are so right-I think we have all seen those whose only talent seems to be to change and please in a heartbeat with nothing of substance to back it up. I have heard, as I am certain we all have from time to time, about mentors whose jobs have been swallowed up by that type of person.
Another type I have to offer is the absolutely fun person we meet who involves us in fun activities and groups that we really enjoy. Little by little, however, you might find that you are now only hearing from this person when they need something from you-information, a link to a job, something they need you to do for them. Hmmm. This can take months or years to develop.
Also, I agree with Miss Krystal-I think many of us have thought we met a new, fun friend in our personal lives who had an agenda for what they could use from us.
It can be hurtful, complicated and uncertain to decide what we are seeing in a friendship, mentoring arrangement, etc. Therefore, I’d like to suggest that you call one of us to help you unravel it and find the truth for you.
A lot of psychics and counselors have to deal with people trying to use them….How many of us thought they found a friend that they could have fun with? I am talking about people who we cross paths with in our personal lives, not on here….Miss Krystal
I agree totally with you…..Opportunists show a high degree of passive/aggresive behavior.
by the way, if you read this…. is loki pronounced ” low-key ” as in the mythical Norse god: Loki ?
Blessed Be )O(
Gina Rose ext.9500
Loki-Is it pronounced “Look” or “low” cute whatever it is. My aunt who passed away always sang that old song, “Lookey lookey lookey, here comes cookie” lol
As far as what you wrote, all so true. I have a way that can get rid of those pests for you-May not work with all of them, but it works a lot-Okay, I am going to take what you wrote, a tad further…
Let’s look at the core of this-hmmmm “Opportunist” has an agenda etc.
When people set out to do this….yes, they are selfish, don’t think of karma or consider it, etc. however….BUT….Truth is, the underlying element of it all, is, they don’t respect the person they are going after….They think pretty low of you, and, it comes from a real true spirit of “dislike”-
So, all you have to do is, set a big boundary….Don’t worry, most of the time, that is all it takes…Most of the time….Of course, there is always an exception. But most of the time, they can’t handle you setting a boundary because they had you down as a person who they could take advantage of….It’s the best way to “test” the core of their intentions. Usually their ego will be spinning wheels because they thought they were smarter than you. A person with good intentions, would try to communicate, show respect and resolve any misunderstanding-respecting your boundary but not running away. I suggest trying that. Can’t guarantee, but a lot of times it works.
Great write up, Giovanna. Excellent selected topic for the weekend. Thanks.
Another category to add to the list: Opportunists. They slip under the radar for a spell — covert, not overt. A ‘friend’ who takes advantage of any opportunity to achieve their own agenda, without self-awareness or regard for consequences. Those who milk friendships for what they can — and then deny themselves into oblivion. It’s quite difficult to spot these innocent yet insidious types — for they wreak havoc incrementally.
Another great article…….
I think the financial manipulative types are the worst….sad, but I’ve read for clients who have had their hearts AND wallets broken by that type.
Blessed Be )O(
Gina Rose ext.9500